Provide first-class support for "traversal" projects
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When dealing with large code projects with hundreds or thousands of files, Visual Studio solution files are not an adequate "solution" (pun accidental).
Solution files are not easy to manage and check-in to source control. They are not easily human-readable and are not easy to edit and update as files change. Furthermore, a very large code base could end up having hundreds of solution files in hundreds of different folders, making it a maintenance nightmare to keep all the solution files up-to-date.
The other option would be to have one giant solution file which contains all projects, but in that case, Visual Studio would take minutes if not hours to load, making this also a solution that is not useful.
The solution we have found is to use "traversal projects", typically named dirs.proj for standardization, to define what projects to open within a directory. Traversal projects are simply any imported custom props and targets files plus any traversal projects or code projects nested in the directory tree below.
MSBuild handles this system very well, however, Visual Studio does not. VS doesn't recognize traversal projects and tries to open them as a file, rather than as a collection of projects (i.e., a solution).
In order to get Visual Studio to support and open traversal projects, we have to build tools which generate a Solution file from the Traversal Projects and then open the Solution file. While this works OK, it is a hacky workaround and doen't always result in having a full featured support in the VS IDE.
Having support for the concept of Traversal Projects and being able to use them in lieu of Solution files would be of huge benefit for anyone working with a large, customized code base.